Those Who Can’t Accept Defeat in Elections Don’t Deserve Victory in Future – Tinubu

News Feed

Nigeria President Bola Tinubu has joined Nigerians across the world to commemorate 30 years of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, and the fifth anniversary of Democracy Day. Tinubu sent a message to those who refuse to accept defeat at elections, saying they do not deserve victory in future polls.

In a broadcast Monday morning, Tinubu eulogised the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Chief MKO Abiola, and other martyrs of the struggle that followed, saying Abiola paid the supreme price for democracy to survive.

The president noted that orders used to truncate or abridge democracy would no longer be tolerated. He apologised to the Nigerian people for the pains they suffered following the recent removal of fuel subsidy.

Tinubu was a prominent leader of NADECO, the umbrella group of Nigerian activists who advocated the actualisation of the June 12 mandate, following the Ibrahim Babangida military government’s annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election presumably won by Abiola.

Tinubu stressed in his Democracy Day speech, “We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled. He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defence of the ideals of democracy as symbolised in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President.

“There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power. To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no. He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.

“Everyday, on this day, down the ages, we will recall the several other heroes of democracy, such as Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Abiola, who was brutally murdered while in the trenches fighting on the side of the people.

“We remember Pa Alfred Rewane, one of the heroes of our independence struggle and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd), who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy. They gave their yesterday for the liberty that is ours today.”

Reminiscing on the annulment of the June 12 presidential poll by the military president Babangida regime, Tinubu vowed that such illegal orders that stalked the June 12 poll would no longer be tolerated in the country.

He said, “It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.”

Referring to the last general election in the country, the president declared that those who refused to accept defeat in the poll did not deserve victory in future elections.

He said, “Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory, when it is their turn to triumph. Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man.”

Tinubu also commented on the recent withdrawal of fuel subsidy by his administration. He apologised to Nigerians for the step taken, and said the move was dictated by the need to ensure that the Nigeria did not cease to exist.

According to Tinubu, “It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich.

“I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.

“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.”

Speaking on the need to save democracy, he said, “It is about rule of law and vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.

“The recent harmonisation of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started. The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people, who are the shareholders, means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices.

“It means social and economic justice for our people. To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’, because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.

“On my part and that of my administration, I pledge anew our commitment to diligently fulfilling every component of our electoral pact with the people – the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda. We shall be faithful to truth. Faithful to equity. And faithful to justice. We shall exercise our authority and mandate to govern with fairness, respect for the rule of law, and commitment to always uphold the dignity of all our people.”

Meanwhile Afenifere, in press statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, marking the 30th anniversary of the annulment of the 1993 presidential election, tasked Tinubu to design necessary policies to protect ordinary Nigerians and ensure that their welfare was improved.

Afenifere recounted how the election won by Abiola was annulled by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, adding that the annulment caused a lot of uproar both within and outside Nigeria, and precipitated countless tragedies.

Afenifere said in the statement, “Many leading lights in Nigeria, including the winner of the election, Basorun M.K.O. Abiola, lost their lives while many had to run away for their dear lives. Among them was Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who is now the president of the country.

“Tinubu, along with many others, fought for the de-annulment of the election result under the auspices of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) formed for the purpose of actualising the said election and the ousting of the military from the corridors of power in Nigeria. Besides midwifing NADECO, Afenifere played pivotal roles in the struggle to actualise June 12.

“At a point, Tinubu, like many others, had to flee the country. But they continued the struggle even while outside Nigeria.”

Afenifere said it had to recall the events to underscore the fact that the person occupying the number one position in Nigeria today was a very active player in the struggle to restore civil rule in the country.

“Incidentally, he was part of Hope 93, the trajectory mounted by Abiola, who contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the said election,” Afenifere said of Tinubu.

It added, “Thus, Tinubu was very much aware of the plans Abiola had for transforming Nigeria had he became the president of the country. Herein, among others areas, lies the significance of Tinubu mounting the saddle exactly 30 years after the historic election that would have seen his (Tinubu’s) former political leader in Aso Rock.

“Meaning that he, Tinubu, now has the onerous responsibility of actualising the noble dreams of Abiola for Nigeria and the African continent. A good student of history, Tinubu is quite familiar with those plans that Abiola had. Just as he is familiar with the life-transforming programmes of his older political icon, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“Now, he has the responsibility to harmonise the big projects of these two men and integrate them with his own plans with a view to making Nigeria fulfill its destiny. The destiny of being the leading light for the Black Race all over the world. A destiny the country was on the path to fulfill, but for the unfortunate military incursion of 1966!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *